The New York Times is running an engaging discussion about the value of study abroad programs, asking whether a year abroad is worth the cost. As the cost of education continues to increase and colleges and universities are under increasing pressure to cut the time to degree, the value of international experience is increasingly called into question.
On one side, study abroad is a powerful tool for personal development, pushing students outside their comfort zone and giving them an opportunity to experience life in another culture and to develop proficiency in another language. At the same time, as the cost of higher education continues to increase, students have to balance the cost of study abroad against the broader financial obligations of their degrees.
What do you think? Should study abroad be a central part of an undergraduate degree? Should every American student commit to study abroad? Or does the expense of such programs outweigh their benefits? Take the poll or leave a comment and let us know what you think.
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban last October, addressed the United Nations on Friday, marking her 16th birthday. Yousafzi was shot in the head by masked gunmen while on a school bus in an effort to silence her campaign for girls’ rights.
Yousafzi symbolically wore a pink shawl that belonged to assassinated Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto. In her speech to the United Nations, Yousafzi argued that “The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens. They are afraid of women.” She called on political leaders to ensure that every child—boy and girl—has access to education.
“Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
What do you think? Does education reduce the propensity for violence and extremism? Would greater access to education—particularly female education—in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan reduce the ongoing violence there? Take the poll below or leave a comment and let us know what think.